When this free agent stalemate ends, don’t expect the Rangers to be one of the teams pushing to sign Yu Darvish. Club GM Jon Daniels said Friday that although they continue to maintain contact with the ace right-hander, “it’s very unlikely that we’re ultimately going to bring in one of the upper-end pitchers at this point.”
That seems to suggest that the likes of Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn are off the table, though the Rangers could still try to add a few inexpensive depth pieces to their pitching staff before Opening Day. They’re projected to start the year with a rotation of Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Doug Fister, Matt Moore and Mike Minor, and have a plethora of minor league pitchers who could conceivably step into a starting role if need be.
While Darvish has enjoyed a long relationship with the team, he isn’t exactly positioning himself to hand out any hometown discounts this offseason. The 31-year-old righty is reportedly seeking something close to $175 million in a multiyear deal, and another report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic indicates that Darvish is simply biding his time until either the Yankees or Dodgers clear space on their payroll for such an offer.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.